Monday, January 20, 2020

A January Ridge

An atmospheric ridge of high pressure, currently centered over the Four-Corners region, extends northward into southern Wyoming, shunting polar air to the east and producing mild conditions here along the Colorado Front Range.  Afternoon highs are expected to remain in the 50s F for the remainder of the week, contrasting with severe cold across the eastern half of the U.S. that will bring near-freezing temperatures to the Gulf Coast and much of Florida.

Of course, this protective ridge will also shut off Pacific moisture for the time being and the mountain snowpack, while decent this year, will not be augmented until the ridge breaks down.  An undulating jet stream, responsible for these weather extremes from West to East, is expected to flatten out by next weekend, producing more seasonable conditions across the country.

Until then, we'll enjoy the January ridge in Colorado, knowing (or hoping) that spring snowstorms will likely bring vital moisture to this semi-arid ecosystem.  The fact that we will be warmer than Tampa in a few days should be no cause for celebration.